TvT Banshee Expand

General Overview

This build gets a very fast banshee to harass your opponent, while you expand and macro up. It also keeps your opponents army in his base trying to defend the banshee, allowing you to tech up and focus on economy.  It also gives you the flexibility to react to any opener your opponent uses, and can even transition into a 1/1/1 Marine/Tank/Banshee all-in if your first Banshee scouts your opponent playing too greedily.

Gas First Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Refinery
  • 13 – Barracks
  • 17 – Marine and Factory
  • 18 – Orbital Command
  • 18 – Supply Depot
  • 18 – @100% Marine, start Techlab on Barracks
  • 20 – @100% Techlab/Factory, lift Barracks, build Starport on empty Techlab, and start Hellion
  • 29 – @100% Starport, start Banshee

Barracks First Build Order

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • 13 – Refinery
  • 16 – Marine
  • 17 – Orbital Command
  • 17 – Supply Depot
  • 19 – Factory
  • 21 – Refinery (2)
  • 25 – @100% Factory, start Techlab on Factory and Starport
  • 27 – @100% Techlab, lift off Factory and start Hellion
  • @100% Starport, swap onto Techlab and start Banshee Cloak+Banshee production

Why Use This Build?

This build is safe against a lot of builds that your opponent does and it also allows you to be aggressive with your banshees (killing probes, denying mining, forcing static air defense and detection). It is safe to follow up your banshee aggression with an expansion in order to not fall too far behind opponents that fast expand.  Your opponent will constantly be dealing with your harass and won’t be able to leave his base until he deals with the banshee(s).

Scouting

With your initial SCV scout, check if your opponent is fast expanding (no gas) or is teching up (gas). If he is doing a gasless FE, you can focus more on economy and macro instead of early unit production, or decide to follow up your banshee play with a 1/1/1 Marine/Tank/Banshee all-in if you kill a lot of marines with your initial Banshees.  If he has gas than you need to be more conscientious of early game unit production.  If you see an early push/all-in coming, then produce more units (Marines, Banshees, Hellions) and Bunkers in order to stay alive.

Besides early game scouting, the Banshees will also be able to harass and scout what tech your opponent is making for the midgame.  If he is making Banshees of his own, then rally a viking to your own mineral line and position your Marines appropriately.  If you see a Raven pop out, be sure to cancel Cloak before it finishes.  React to counter whatever early game strategy your opponent is employing–you have all the buildings you will need in order to defend, but you just need to make sure you’re making the correct units.

Transitions

You can transition into anything after your initial banshee aggression.  If you scout your opponent going Mech with your first banshee pokes, then you can go sky Terran for a while (swap your reactor onto the Starport and pump out 2 vikings at a time in order to gain air control and allow your banshees to rain fire upon your opponent’s lacking anti-air).  Alternatively, you can follow up your banshee harass with Mech play of your own by swapping the Tech lab onto the factory and starting siege tank production and two more factories behind your expansion.  Also, you can follow up with marine tank by expanding, swapping the Tech lab onto the Factory for siege tank production, and adding two more barracks for marines and their upgrades.  Lastly, you can go all-in with the 1/1/1 by starting a Tech lab on your factory before expanding and making Marines (Reactor Barracks), tanks (Techlab factory), and Banshees (Techlab Starport).  This build truly is one of the most versatile of all TvT openers.

Favorable Maps

The purpose of this build is to get out a fast Banshee to harass your opponent’s SCVs and early Marines.  Thus, it is best on maps with lots of air space around the bases, lots of ledges, and/or mineral lines that are close by air and far by ground.

  • Cloud Kingdom
  • Entombed Valley
  • Antiga Shipyard
  • Newkirk District
  • Daybreak

Replays

Gas First Banshee Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI

Gas First Banshee YouTube Tutorial

Barracks First Banshee Tutorial Replay vs a Very Easy AI

Barracks First Banshee YouTube Tutorial

More Info